Cerrie Burnell is a much-loved presenter on Cbeebies. She was named in the Observer’s top ten children’s presenters and also featured in the Guardian’s 2011 list of 100 most inspirational women where she received praise for tackling disability head on. Cerrie divides her time between London and Manchester.
Her bestselling picture books Snowflakes and Mermaid, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson, have won critical acclaim.
Magical adventure Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella is her first novel for young readers.
by Cerrie Burnell
Harper was alone in the cloud-swept city so she needed somewhere warm and safe and lovely in contrast to the storm. So many children in cities live in apartment buildings, blocks of flats or council estates, where they don’t have a big garden but they do have rooftops, balconies and a brilliant sense of community. This felt right for Harper- and Midnight her cat. So the Tall Apartment Block came into existence, along with its rowdy, merry band of residence. In one sense they are Harper’s neighbours, but in another sense they’re her family. There’s Ferdie a boy with serious scarf and pencil who hopes to become struggling poet. Liesel a small child with scuffed knees and tangled hair, who actually hates cats (there has to be one) but loves mice. Then there’s Nate who is from the only family in the Tall Apartment Block who don’t have a cat- they have a wolf. The wolf is not a pet, but more a protector and companion for Nate who is visually impaired. Together with Harper they make a formidable team.
I had a meeting with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. They were looking for a story to set to classical music. I was completely overawed by the supreme talent of this group of people. The intensity of the skill, ability to play almost anything, the dedication and the way, together the sound they make could stop your heart. It was like a super power- one that’s worked for- but something extraordinary none the less. How astonishing would it be to play music by ear, to pick up any instrument and fill a room with beauty? That was Harper’s gift; she was a truly musical girl with a truly musical name.
When she’s not trying to take over the world or fighting sock-stealing monsters, Laura Ellen Anderson is a professional children’s book author & illustrator, with an increasing addiction to coffee.
She spends every waking hour creating & drawing and would quite like to live on the Moon when humans finally make it possible.
Total fantasy bliss! Magical birds, dark forests and fairytale cities: there’s no better book to get lost in. Harper is on a mission! Rumours tell of the mysterious Ice Raven who lives among the ebony trees, singing a magical song that can melt hardened hearts. Now the Wild Conductor wants to capture this mythical bird and create the greatest orchestra ever known. So Harper and her friends set off to find the bird. Their journey takes them from the mysterious Night Forest to the City of Singing Clocks. But soon Harper realises she faces a dilemma. Should a wild, free creature like the Ice Raven ever be tied down?
Title: Harper and the Night Circus
Author: Cerrie Burnell
Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson
Release Date: 2nd March 2017
Genre: MG Adventure
Publisher: Scholastic UK
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